Matt Bronleewe

Matt Bronleewe is an award winning music producer, songwriter, and musician, and founding member while in college of groundbreaking musical group, Jars of Clay, whose success has taken them to the heights of the music industry with numerous awards and multi-platinum CD sales. Touted as a “rare breed of suspense writer,” with his debut novel, Illuminated, in 2007, House of Wolves releasing in August 2008 from Thomas Nelson),proves Matt once again to be a master of “the intelligent escape”. Matt Bronleewe resides in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife and three children. Current major music projects include his production for fall ’08 release of the ‘Compassionart’ CD which will find a number of top name artists from around the globe contributing their talents to alleviate world hunger. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food, watching sports, and indulging his interests in art, architectural design, and science. He is currently working on his next book.


...there’s a deeper reason for my thrill-seeking journey through the literary dark...

House Of Wolves

I killed somebody. But don’t worry. It’s nobody you know…yet!

I killed is a character in my next book—HOUSE OF WOLVES—which releases August 12th. I wish I could tell you who got killed and why they had to die but that would ruin the surprise! And the SURPRISE is just part of what makes writing a thriller—as well as reading one—so much fun.

Surprise? you ask. Don’t you know who’s going to die in your books? Don’t you plan that before page one is even written? The simple answer is NO. I sometimes wish I did. I sometimes wish my characters behaved like they were supposed to, that they didn’t toddle off into dark corners and cause unexpected mischief. But they do, and that’s exactly why I love writing thrillers so much.

Now, please understand that my way of writing a story isn’t the same as everyone’s. Many authors know every little detail before they press a single key on the keyboard. They know how the pictures hang on their characters walls and how much lint is in their pockets. But not me. Heck, sometimes I’m not even sure what color their hair is until they look in a fictional mirror. And for me, that’s what keeps things interesting. It’s what keeps things exciting! After all, how should I expect you to be surprised if I’m not? Let me explain a deeper reason for my thrill-seeking journey through the literary dark.

After my first thriller—ILLUMINATED—came out, people asked me why I didn’t include music as part of the plot, or the characters. It was a good question—I’d been a music producer and songwriter for over a decade. At first I thought I’d missed an opportunity to blend my two careers. But then I realized

something: I already had. The plot and the characters of my books were music to me.

“Playing” my laptop keyboard in my little office was no different than “playing” my piano keyboard in the studio. Both were part of a continual creative flow. And while the results were different (3 ½ mins of music versus 300+ pages of a manuscript!), the source for both was a passion to create something unexpected.

An author friend of mine, who was also a record producer, once explained the link between music-making and book-writing like this (and I’ll admit that I’m paraphrasing here…) “Matt, when I first moved to town, I thought I knew it all when it came to music. I understood all the theory, memorized all the correct chord changes, used all the right terminology. But then I started seeing these guys in the studio, these guys who could walk in and, without looking at a note, just sit down and jam. Maybe they knew the rules and decided to throw them out. Maybe they’d never had a lick of training in their lives. Either way, they blew me away. They had that amazing gut instinct, that God-given feel for what would move people

I knew when it came to music it was too late for me. I’d already been ‘ruined’ by knowing too much. That’s why I decided, when it came to novel writing, that I was just going to jam.


It was good advice. Yeah, sometimes things don’t work out. And sometimes I get caught in a dead-end alley with a dead-end character. But it’s worth the risk, because being a ‘feel guy’ resonates with who I am as a creative individual.

And that’s why, as I’m writing this, I’m also dreaming up a crazy way—an even crazier way than last time!—to kill someone in my next book. Not that it’ll stick. By the time I write that chapter it will have changed a hundred times. And that’s why I’ll have so much fun writing it. And, hopefully, it’s also why you’ll have so much fun reading it!